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CONTRIBUTION · 17th December 2012
Rhonda Hunter
An open letter to the public.

I rented a lovely home, paid my rent on time and kept it clean and worked on the yard. My husband and teenaged daughters loved it. We were happy and life was good.

After living in the home for well over a year, the landlord went bankrupt and the mortgage was not being paid. My lease had already been renewed so I was not too worried. I had the landlord tenant act to protect me. In July, I was served with court papers letting me know about the upcoming foreclosure.

Wanting to be sure that i was doing the proper things, I called the bank lawyer’s office listed on the court papers to see if I should be looking to move and who was I to pay the rent to. I was told by the bank’s lawyers not to worry, to continue paying my landlord as per my rental contract and that the bank would give me plenty of notice to move. It would take months to get through the courts.

NOTE: The landlord tenant act states that if you are evicted for a landlords personal use of the property (not through default on rent and such) that a tenant will get two months written notice and a month’s rent free for moving costs or paid out equivalent to one month’s rent. If there is no damage the tenant will also get the damage deposit returned with interest.

This did NOT happen for me.

On December 5, 2012, I received a court order saying the bank required “immediate vacant possession.” I was shocked and afraid and called the bank’s lawyers right away. The lawyers told me that they expected me to be out of the house by January 3, 2013. They would NOT be giving me my damage deposit (even though I have proof I paid it) they would NOT be giving me two month’s to find new accommodations and they would NOT be giving me one month rent free or the monetary equivalent.

I immediately phoned the landlord tenancy branch to find out if this could be done to me and my family. The answer, sadly, was yes. Foreclosures go through the Supreme Court of British Columbia and trump the Landlord Tenant Act. Everyone kept saying "Foreclosures are different and have different rules!"

I was a good tenant, I did all the right things, paid on time and ...I got shafted. I'm unhappy, and , as you know, rentals are far and few between.

I have found a teeny tiny two bedroom place to move into. It’s very cute and will do the job and I can keep my cats. One of my daughters has been forced to fInd her first apartment (time to grow up) and I have to sell half of my belongings. I am owed approximately $1275 rent and damage deposit. I will never see it.

Tenants be forewarned, if your landlord stops paying their mortgage, start looking for a place to live right away and don't pay your rent because your rights are not protected what so ever...happy holidays!

P.S. Christmas is cancelled at our house this year...thank you Royal bank of Canada!

Heart broken Tenant,
Rhonda Hunter

Never trust a lawyer...
Comment by Rhonda Hunter on 20th December 2012
I certainly did learn the hard way, yet again! Luckily, I don't deal with the royal bank...that would be my former landlord, credit unions are awesome!
Never trust a LAWYER......
Comment by Larry on 19th December 2012
Sorry you had to learn the hard way. Suggest you and your family drop RB C and start dealing with your local Credit Union.
I feel your pain...
Comment by Rhonda Hunter on 18th December 2012
Sorry you have had such bad luck with tenants, I was a great tenant and will continue to be a great tenant for my new landlord. My former landlord had bad luck and lost their home and who knows what else.

I'm not blaming nor am I complaining.

There is one set of rules for landlords and tenants and another set for lawyers and banks...
I'm just letting people know that the landlord tenant act does not protect everyone, renters and landlord alike. It's just such a bad time of year for this to happen and really, it could happen to anyone.

I feel your pain, but...
Comment by Janice Robinson on 18th December 2012
Landlords have rights too. After all, they own the property.

I am not a landlord, but own an extra house because my Mother willed me her home when she passed away. So, I attempted to rent one out to tenants until I can figure out what to do.

Wrong! Although I have had three sets of tenants in the house, I have received no profits (money) from my efforts.

The first couple came with a big sob story from Stewart, and were only going to stay a couple months, until the birth of their baby. They squatted for six months, turned my house into a drug house, mocked me and the landlord/tenants act (they knew it well), trashed the place.....and moved out when they were damned well ready to. Rather than leave it empty, I tried to rent it to another likeable fellow, who likewise needed a kick in the butt to get his frowzy, unpaying arse out of there. The young lady, with two children, turned out to have many more people in tow....and likewise had difficulty paying rent. Aaargh!

So, my friends tell me not to rent to people on social assistance, nor to people with short term employment, nor to people who drink, do drugs, or smoke. What?

I had no recourse dealing with these people. They know their rights, and have no qualms about playing the game.

I am not a landlord, and now me, my family and friends simply use the house when we need it. I am done trying to rent it out. It's just too much.

I hope you guys make out all right.
Comment by Rhonda hunter on 17th December 2012
Unfortunately, I can take the landlord to small claims court but I believe that they are protected by the bankruptcy act. Either way, I'm just cutting my losses and moving on. Sometimes you learn the hard way...I fit into that category. I just wanted others to be aware that the tenancy act does not cover everything.
Comment by Manion Denise on 17th December 2012
Do you have recourse against the homeowner with whom you paid your rent to, either under the Landlord/Tenant Act OR small claims court? It just doesn't seem right...